Whistler Secondary grad student wins car 

Christen Young - Car winner
  • Christen Young - Car winner

The resort’s first dry grad is huge success

It’s not hard to understand why Christen Young is wandering around with an ear-splitting grin these days.

She just won a nearly new Cutlass Calais from Mountain Motors in a reverse raffle at Whistler Secondary’s first dry grad.

But that is not the whole story.

You see Young, who plans to study Humanities at the University of Victoria next year, didn’t win the car right away. She was really the runner-up.

The car was actually won by student Tim Orr.

But in a move, which characterizes the whole class, Orr decided to give the car to Young because he already had a vehicle.

There’s no doubt the car will come in handy with Young away at school.

"I will be able to come home and visit," said Young.

"And bring your dirty laundry," teased her mother.

Winning the car was the highlight of dry grad said Young.

"That was the incentive for everyone to stay the whole night," she said.

The idea came up, said Mountain Motors owner Dave Manuel, when he was chatting with Greg McDonnell, community outreach worker with Whistler Community Services Society.

"I thought it was a great idea," said Manuel.

The key was to give away a car that was safe, a little sporty, but not too flashy.

"A five-litre mustang with all that power would not have been a good idea," said Manuel laughing.

"I would have been lynched. (Young) doesn’t know yet but the car is not all that powerful. It’s good on gas but there’s not enough power to get into trouble."

Manuel hopes he’s started a new tradition for the school’s dry grads.

"It was an awesome class and they are well deserving," he said.

In order to be eligible students had to stay for the whole dry grad, which started after the prom and finished at 6 a.m. with a breakfast put on by some of the dads last Sunday morning.

By all accounts the dry grad was a great success.

"It was awesome, awesome," said organizer McDonnell.

About 80 students came by bus from the Westin to Myrtle Philip Community School. They took part in food eating contests, enjoyed "mocktails" in donated hot tubs, sparred with giant boxing gloves, ran a Velcro obstacle course and much more.

The hope said McDonnell is that the students had so much fun dry grads will become the tradition for Whistler.

"There were a number of Grade 11s there too," said McDonnell.

"So they saw how awesome it was."

Whistler Secondary Principal Ken Davies also hopes the idea of a dry grad will continue.

"We want to send them a message about healthy choices," he said.

"We don’t want any of these students to become a statistic."

But what better reason to continue to have dry grads than it was fun.

Said Davies: "There’s no doubt the students had a great time."

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